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Iraq protests: Death toll climbs over 180, more than 7,000 injured

Protests in Iraq
Protests in Iraq

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iraq, October 10, 2019—News outlets are shedding more light on crimes committed by the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) in Iraq alongside other Tehran-backed proxy groups against Iraqi demonstrators.

The Asaib al-Haq and Kata'ib Hezbollah, both branches of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force in Iraq, are resorting to any and all crimes in their killings of Iraqi protesters. This includes firing directly at demonstrators, dispatching snipers to murder local demonstration leaders in Iraqi cities, attacking the offices of various media outlets and assaulting reporters.

These forces are the proxy mercenaries of the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran in Iraq in vicious attacks against members of the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) during their stay in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq prior to their relocation to Albania.

 

Senior Iraqi security officials and politicians have told Arab News that the Iraqi government dispatched Iran-backed armed groups to quell the demonstrations and murder the protesters. It is said that these groups are reporting directly to IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.

“A few days ago Qassem Soleimani personally visited Baghdad to manage the crisis. He issued orders to carry out ruthless actions against demonstrators and even kill them to install a climate of fear amongst others,” one senior security official in Baghdad said to Arab news.

News reports indicate that in the past nine days more than 180 people have been killed and over 7,000 are left injured. These numbers include security personnel. Furthermore, dozens of government buildings, offices of political parties and military vehicles have been set ablaze.

Videos posted by demonstrators and activists reveal that many of the demonstrators killed were unarmed and nowhere close to any government building to pose a threat. It is said the groups pouring into the streets include the Badr Corps, Asaeb al-Haq and Saraya Khorasani, all backed by the Iranian regime. Security officials, politicians, and activists say these groups play a significant role in the crackdown of demonstrations and killing demonstrators.

Most Iraqi and foreign reporters and activists reporting on the protests or monitoring these events have left Baghdad in the past week after receiving warnings that their arrest warrants have been issued based on Iraq’s terrorism law.

“None of these measures have anything to do with us,” said one senior National Security Council member in Iraq. “All these cases in regard to the demonstrations are currently managed by the PMF.”

IRGC Brigadier General Hassan Karami, head of the Iranian regime’s special anti-riot units, said a force of 7,500 have been dispatched to Iraq under the pretext of providing protection during an upcoming religious ceremony.

“More than 10,000 members of the special forces will be directly involved in protecting these ceremonies. 7,500 men will be at the scene and 4,000 will be held as the reserve force,” he said to the Iranian regime’s state-run Mehr news agency.

Amir Abdollahian, the special advisor of Ali Larijani, speaker of the Iranian regime’s Majlis (parliament), also provided his input on the Iraqi protests.

“We consider the security of Iraq as the security of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Insecurity in Iraq is completely against the interests of the [Iranian regime]. We do not profit in any way from destabilization and insecurity in Iraq can insecure 1,600 kilometers of joint borders with Iran,” he said with deep concerns.

The demonstrations and revolts in Iraq against Iran-backed proxy groups have flamed the crisis inside the mullahs’ regime.

 

The Ebtekar daily warned that these demonstrations differ from previous protests by the Iraq people. “The return of relative stability will be deceitful," Ebtekar wrote. Kayhan daily, known as the mouthpiece of Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, wrote, “Although the streets of Iraq have become stable again and protests have tuned down, this does not mean the end of tensions in Iraq. It would be naïve to think they will remain silent.”

The PMOI/MEK spokesperson said: “[Khamenei] says his link with the Iraqi people grows stronger(!) However, what is taking place in Nasiriyah, Baghdad, and Najaf [in Iraq] to Lordegan, Arak and Isfahan [in Iran] is the utter weakening of the mullahs’ regime. Khamenei is burning from his repulsive images being torched and trampled upon simultaneously in Iran and Iraq.”

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